Baby Making Clicking Sound When Breastfeeding? How to Fix

how to stop clicking when breastfeeding
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Key Points

  • The article highlights the challenges new parents face with breastfeeding, specifically the clicking noises during nursing sessions and the effective ways how to stop clicking when breastfeeding.
  • Clicking sound during nursing refers to a distinct noise caused by a loss of suction, often due to shallow latching, fast milk letdown, or anatomical issues.
  • While occasional clicking might not be problematic, but consistent clicking can indicate issues like poor latch, nipple pain, or inadequate milk transfer and that may require intervention.
  • Solutions include improving latch, managing milk flow, addressing engorgement, and consulting professionals if needed.

When it comes to breastfeeding, new parents often encounter unexpected challenges, one of which is the occurrence of clicking noises during nursing sessions. Should you be worried? These sounds can cause concern and confusion, leaving parents wondering about their significance and how to address them. In this article, we will dive into the causes of clicking during breastfeeding, explore whether it poses a problem, and discuss strategies how to stop clicking when breastfeeding.

Clicking During Nursing: What Does It Mean?

The clicking sound heard during breastfeeding can be described as a clicking, clucking, or popping noise. It refers to a distinct, repetitive sound that a baby makes while feeding. It can sound like a “tsk tsk” or a “tut-tut” noise, reminiscent of the disapproving sound adults make. While it may seem alarming at first, While it might sound alarming, it doesn’t necessarily indicate a major problem. It’s important to understand that clicking is a symptom of an underlying issue related to feeding mechanics.

What Causes Clicking While Breastfeeding

Clicking is primarily caused by a loss of suction during nursing. This loss of suction can occur for various reasons, each relating to how the baby latches onto the breast or bottle. The sound can be accompanied by other signs such as milk leakage from the baby’s mouth, which indicates that the seal between the baby’s mouth and the nipple is not tight enough. Here are some common causes of clicking:

– If the baby does not latch deeply onto the breast, they may struggle to maintain a strong seal, resulting in clicking sounds.

– A rapid milk letdown can overwhelm the baby, causing them to release suction and make a clicking sound.

– Variations in the baby’s mouth anatomy, such as a high palate, tongue-tie, or lip-tie, can lead to clicking.

– Full, engorged breasts can be hard for the baby to latch onto properly, leading to clicking.

– Weak oral muscles can make it difficult for the baby to maintain a consistent latch.

Is Clicking a Problem?

Whether clicking is a problem depends on the overall breastfeeding experience and the baby’s health. Occasional clicking might not be a cause for concern if the baby is gaining weight well, producing enough wet and dirty diapers, and if breastfeeding is not painful for the mother. However, consistent clicking, especially when accompanied by other feeding difficulties such as nipple pain, slow weight gain, or poor latch, may warrant attention and intervention.

Is Clicking a Problem

Does It Really Matter if Baby Clicks While Feeding?

While occasional clicking might not be problematic, frequent or persistent clicking can indicate issues that might affect breastfeeding efficiency and comfort. If left unaddressed, these issues can lead to:

Nipple Pain and Damage: A poor latch can cause sore nipples and potential damage, making breastfeeding painful.

Inadequate Milk Transfer: If the baby is unable to latch properly, they might not be able to extract enough milk, affecting their nutrition and growth.

Frequent gas or spit-up: Clicking might lead to your baby swallowing air, causing gas and discomfort.

Feeding Frustrations: Both the baby and the mother can become frustrated, which can impact the overall breastfeeding relationship.

Poor weight gain: If your baby isn’t gaining weight well despite frequent feeding, a clicking sound could be a contributing factor.

Why Does My Baby Click When It Breastfeeds?

Understanding the reasons behind the clicking sound can help in finding the right solution. Here are some detailed common reasons for clicking during breastfeeding:

Poor Latch and Positioning: The way a baby latches onto the breast and their positioning during feeds can significantly impact breastfeeding. A shallow latch often leads to clicking sounds as the baby struggles to keep the nipple in their mouth.

Baby Click When It Breastfeeds as Poor Latch and Positioning

Forceful Letdown: Some mothers have an overactive milk ejection reflex, causing milk to flow too quickly for the baby to handle. This can make the baby click as they try to manage the fast flow.

Engorgement: Overly full breasts can be difficult for the baby to latch onto properly, causing clicking sounds during feeding.

Tongue-Tie or Lip-Tie: These are conditions where the frenulum (the piece of tissue connecting the tongue or lip to the mouth) is too tight, restricting movement and leading to feeding difficulties, including clicking.

Weakness of the Tongue: Weak oral muscles can hinder the baby’s ability to maintain a good latch, resulting in clicking.

Palate Issues: Anomalies in the baby’s palate, such as a high or bubble-shaped palate, can also cause clicking.

Tongue position while breastfeeding

During breastfeeding, the breast (breast/nipple) adapts to the shape of the mouth. The peristaltic motion of the tongue during breastfeeding, presses the breast up against the palate.
Photo: Brain Palmer DDS

Teething: Teething babies might bite down or explore with their gums during feeding, leading to clicking sounds.

Ear Infections or Thrush: Conditions like ear infections or oral thrush can cause discomfort during feeding, leading to changes in how the baby sucks and potential clicking sounds.

How to Stop Clicking When Breastfeeding?

Addressing the clicking sound involves identifying and resolving the underlying issue. Here are some strategies to help:

1. Improve Latch and Positioning:

  • Deep Latch: Ensure that the baby takes a large portion of the areola into their mouth, not just the nipple. This helps create a better seal.
  • Positioning: Try different breastfeeding positions to find one that works best for both you and your baby. Common positions include the cradle hold, football hold, and side-lying position. Make sure the baby’s head is tilted slightly back, with their chin pressing into your breast.
  • Chin Forward, Head Back: Similar to how adults drink from a cup, the baby’s chin should be forward and their head slightly back to maintain a good latch.

2. Manage Milk Flow:

  • Adjust Feeding Positions: Positions where the baby is more upright, such as the laid-back position, can help manage a fast letdown by giving the baby more control over the flow.
  • Express Some Milk Before Feeding: If you have a strong letdown, express a small amount of milk before feeding to reduce the initial flow rate.

3. Address Engorgement:

  • Frequent Feeding: Feed your baby more frequently to avoid getting engorged.
  • Warm Compresses and Gentle Massage: Use warm compresses and gentle breast massage to help soften the breasts before feeding.

4. Check for Tongue-Tie or Lip-Tie:

  • Consult a Professional: If you suspect your baby has a tongue-tie or lip-tie, consult a lactation consultant or pediatrician. They can assess your baby’s mouth and recommend treatment if necessary.

5. Strengthen Oral Muscles:

  • Oral Exercises: Specific exercises recommended by a lactation consultant can help strengthen the baby’s tongue and oral muscles, improving their ability to maintain a latch.

6. Check for Other Health Issues:

  • Ear Infections and Thrush: If your baby shows signs of discomfort, such as ear tugging or white patches in the mouth, consult a healthcare provider to rule out ear infections or thrush.
how to stop clicking when breastfeeding

When to Seek Help

If the clicking sound persists despite trying the above strategies, or if it is accompanied by other signs of feeding difficulties, it’s important to seek professional help. Signs that warrant a consultation include:

  1. The clicking persists even after attempting latching solutions
  2. Persistent nipple pain and damage
  3. Poor weight gain or weight loss in the baby
  4. Frequent unlatching and crying during feeds
  5. If your baby seems frustrated or fussy during feeds
  6. Excessive milk leakage from the baby’s mouth
  7. Signs of dehydration in the baby (fewer wet diapers, dark urine)
  8. If you suspect your baby might have a tongue tie

Where to Seek Help

There are several resources available to support breastfeeding mothers. Here’s where you can seek help:

International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) are experts in breastfeeding support and can provide personalized advice and assistance.

Pediatricians and family doctors can help identify any medical issues contributing to breastfeeding difficulties and refer you to specialists if needed.

The reputable organization like La Leche League offers support and resources for breastfeeding mothers, including local support groups and online forums.

If anatomical issues like tongue-tie or palate abnormalities are suspected, a pediatric dentist or ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist can provide a thorough evaluation and treatment options.

Several reputable websites offer breastfeeding information and support, such as KellyMom and Breastfeeding Basics.

Additional Considerations:

It takes time and practice to perfect breastfeeding techniques. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see immediate results.

As a mother, you know your baby best. If you feel something is wrong, seek professional help.

Having a supportive network of family, friends, and healthcare providers can make a significant difference in your breastfeeding journey.


Clicking during breastfeeding can be concerning, but with the right understanding and approach, it can often be resolved. Ensuring a deep latch, managing milk flow, addressing potential anatomical issues, and seeking professional support when needed are key steps in overcoming this challenge. Remember, the goal is a comfortable and effective breastfeeding experience for both you and your baby. If you’re ever in doubt, don’t hesitate to reach out to a lactation consultant or healthcare provider for guidance. Breastfeeding is a journey, and with the right support, you can navigate any bumps along the way.

Disclaimer: This article gives basic information. This information is intended for educational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice. It is important to talk to a pediatrician or lactation consultant or consult with a healthcare professional, who can help you personally.


Is clicking while breastfeeding bad?

Baby will likely release the suction in their mouth by breaking the seal between their tongue and the breast slightly. This makes the “click” sound you hear. If it doesn’t cause pain for the breastfeeding mother, there’s no need to worry.

Does clicking mean tongue-tie?

Clicking does not always mean tongue-tie. While tongue-tie is one possible cause of clicking during breastfeeding, it is not the only reason. Clicking can also result from issues like a shallow latch, fast milk flow, engorgement, or variations in the baby’s mouth anatomy. If clicking is persistent and accompanied by other feeding problems, it’s a good idea to consult a lactation consultant or pediatrician to determine the underlying cause.

How to stop baby clicking on breasts?

If you hear clicking, try to improve the latch by bringing your baby’s chin closer to your breast. Your baby’s nose should point away from the breast as their head tilts back. The nose can touch the breast but shouldn’t press into it.

Why does my 3 month old click while bottle feeding?

A frequent indicator of tongue tie is when the baby makes clicking sounds during feeding. Clicking occurs when the tongue loses contact with the breast, bottle, pacifier, or finger as the jaw moves downward.

Is it normal for baby to click?

It’s normal for babies to make clicking and popping sounds in their body, similar to knuckles cracking, especially around the spine, shoulders, knees, and ankles. If your baby makes these sounds in their hips or if you hear a “clunk” instead of a “click,” it’s best to speak with your pediatrician.

Why is my baby gulping and clicking?

If the baby’s tongue can’t stay in position, each time they suck, you’ll hear a clicking sound as the tongue moves and the suction breaks. The baby might swallow air when this happens.


  1. My baby makes a clicking sound when nursing. Is this a problem? –
  2. The Sounds of Breastfeeding –
  3. Clicking During Nursing: What Does It Mean? –
  4. My Baby Makes Clicking Noises When Breastfeeding –
  5. Tongue-tie and breastfeeding –
  6. Breastfeeding Problems Due to Baby’s Anatomy –
  7. Finding breastfeeding support and information –

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